1776 Turns Google Doc Into Unfurlough.us

unfurlough.us, 1776, Startups, DC Startup, Government shutfown

Last week we broke the news that the entrepreneurs at 1776 in Washington, DC jumped into action when the federal government was first shut down. The first thing they did was hold an impromptu event which brought together the startups at 1776 with furloughed federal workers in the area.

What came out of that was the Google Doc we reported about last Friday. 1776 found a clear path between workers on furlough and startups that needed paid workers, volunteers or people to do small projects.

They’ve now turned the simple GoogleDoc into unfurlough.us which is picking up a lot of traction. The new jobs site, set up to connect furloughed workers with positions in startups, caught the eye of Mashable on Tuesday.

Mashable revealed that all kinds of people are signing up, even people that aren’t on furlough. 1776 cofounder Donna Harris told Mashable that they aren’t going to take down anyone’s profile.

So is it working?

Mashable reports that Josh Hurd, the founder of Nonprofitmetrics, used unfurlough.us to find a blogger who he is paying a minimum of $35 per post. Lily Bradley who works for the Department of Health and Human Services is also on furlough. She found a temporary job taking pictures for a startup that pays more than her day job.

1776 does have a warning posted on the unfurlough.us website reminding furloughed workers to check their agency’s “ethics guidance” to make sure they are allowed to engage in outside work while on furlough.

1776 even has their own listing looking for someone to do PR & Marketing research.

Building unfurlough.us was a community effort between blen and 1776 and built on the open source platform drupal, reportedly in under five hours.


New York’s General Assembly Closing Co-Working Space

General Assembly, New York startups, coworking, 1776General Assembly has become one of the benchmarks for coworking, startup, and incubation space. They just recently expanded to Washington, DC in a partnership with 1776 in which they will offer classes, information sessions, and other startup support resources.

What started as a place to “support the growing NYC startup community,” has expanded to becoming a “global educational institution that has helped empower nearly 70,000 to pursue the work they love,” General Assembly CEO Jake Schwartz posted on their blog.

When they originally opened three years ago, they had no idea GA would become what it is today.

“Over the past two and a half years, our community has grown much larger than our amazing co-working members.  It now encompasses the tens of thousands of students who’ve come through our doors and the more than 3,000 alumni of our long-form courses, not to mention the hundreds of instructors and the 2,000 hiring partners who come to GA in search of top talent.  Similarly, support once meant desks and space, but has come to also mean instruction, opportunity and talent for our students and hiring partners,” Schwartz said.

The crew at General Assembly has decided that their higher calling will become the focus of their efforts going forward in 2014. They will convert the space they use for coworking in New York City to expand their events, career fairs, hackathons, fireside chats, panels and other educational resources for startups and entrepreneurs.

Over the past few years Schwartz and the team at General Assembly have seen the explosion of coworking spaces across New York City and other regions across the world.

In Washington DC, for instance, General Assembly’s focus is with education and community events while 1776 houses the coworking space. Models like this are why GA is confident that this is the right move for them at their flagship location.

General Assembly has set up a transition team of sorts to make sure that their coworking members are able to find similarly priced space with the same services that GA provided for coworkers. Of course those members will still participate in the other community building efforts that General Assembly is offering.


1776 Connecting Federal Employees With Startups

1776, Government shutdown, startups, 1776

By now everyone knows that the federal government is in a shutdown, the first one in over 20 years. “Non essential” federal government employees are furloughed, or temporarily laid off, so that the federal government can save money. Although most predict the shutdown could be over by October 17th, others aren’t sure of the future beyond that. At this point, who wants Congress controlling your future?

One thing is for sure though, and that’s the fact that over 800,000 people are currently sidelined by this shutdown. The shutdown is affecting all kinds of skilled workers, ranging from grounds keepers to people with executive level skill sets. Tens of thousands of affected workers are those with IT skills, some who even have startup experience.

1776, the entrepreneurial hub, coworking space, and incubator in downtown DC is closest to all the action. On day one of the shutdown, they held a federal government shutdown open house/cocktail party where affected federal workers with relationships with 1776 and the startups housed there, came to mingle.

It was after that event that some of the 1776 community came up with an idea for a database aimed at matching displaced federal workers with startups looking for workers. The database, located here, is looking for startups to post job opening and for workers to post their skill sets and find a match.

If your startup has a paid or volunteer position open, you should post it. In some cases federal workers are looking for something to pass the time. In others, they are looking to earn some money on the side.

What a startup will hopefully get, is a skilled worker and maybe even a long term team member that may perhaps, transition to working for the startup when the furlough is lifted.

In addition to the database, DC entrepreneur and designer Mike Aleo, who previously worked at the White House as a designer, has created this site to keep people up to date with how long the shut down has been going on. Now he’s looking for resources for people who have been displaced.

As for the database itself, while it started in DC and DC has the highest concentration of federal workers, there are no restrictions or geographic boundaries. There are federal workers in just about every city across the country.

If your startup is looking for help now, check it out.


1776 Lands Partnership With General Assembly

1776, GeneralAssembly, DC startups, incubator, startup newsWith a name like General Assembly, you would think one of the  most respected incubator organizations in the country would have a presence in Washington, DC. But that’s not the case. PandoDaily’s DC based reporter Hamish McKenzie reports that “A couple of years ago, entrepreneurial educational institution General Assembly scouted Washington DC and decided there wasn’t enough startup activity to warrant starting a program in the city just yet.”

That seems to have changed now that 1776, the DC startup hub and coworking space founded by Startup Veterans Evan Burfield and Donna Harris, is up and running on all cylinders.

Since opening this Spring, there hasn’t been a dull moment at 1776. They’ve hosted Startup Grind, TechCocktail events, several hackathons, startup launch parties, and several other startup activities. They’ve also announced major partnerships with top educational publisher Pearson,and others. They’ve even announced a global startup challenge that will bring startups from around the world to Washington, DC for a tournament style final next year.

Now, General Assembly has given the nation’s capital a second look. They’ve decided to take up residency on two lower floors of 1776’s space on 15th street in NorthWest Washington, DC. The space sits directly across from the Washington Post which is in the process of being acquired by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

McKenzie reports that DC’s General Assembly will begin hosting workshops and short form courses as early as next month with their long-term curriculum kicking off in 2014. This marks the 9th General Assembly campus. They also have locations in New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Boston, London, Sydney and Hong Kong.

Burfield and Harris were influencers with Startup America before founding 1776 a short seven months ago. Harris was a director with the Startup America Partnership, and Burfield was the founder of the DC region for Startup America. They’ve attracted over 100 startups to the 1776 space. In addition to serving as a hub for startups in Washington DC they are also linking startups from across the country and around the world to the federal government which happens to be the largest enterprise client in the world. 1776 sits just four blocks from the White House.

Find out more about 1776 at 1776dc.com and General Assembly here.

Several DC area startups and founders are headed to Cincinnati later this month for this huge startup conference.


Pearson Supports Startup Land, Partners With DC’s 1776

1776, Pearson, DC, DC startups, EdTechIt is no secret that education in this country is in a state of flux. Scores are low, dropout rates are high, and standards are constantly being changed. There’s constant discussion about what education should even mean in this century. More and more people are homeschooling, not out of religious belief but simply to bring sanity to their children’s education.

Pearson is a big name in education. They produce many of the textbooks and mulitmedia materials used in our schools. The company has been publishing educational materials for more than 100 years. 100+ year old companies aren’t typically the first ones to jump on the startup bandwagon, but Pearson is leading the way.

pearson1Yesterday, they announced a partnership with DC incubator 1776. Through the partnership, Pearson will support and collaborate with edtech startups associated with 1776.

In a statement, 1776’s Evan Burfield said:

America’s education system is at a crossroads and a forward-thinking approach is needed to solve many challenges. Pearson is using technology to invent new ways of learning; and by working with organizations like 1776 and our startups, Pearson’s experts not only provide insights around data and technical integration strategies, they can advise startups on effectively penetrating and scaling in the education market.

Edtech is a rocky field, at best. With perhaps thousands of individual school systems across the country, mass adoption can be difficult. Each system has its own way of deciding which tools to use, teachers are often worn out with all the new systems to learn, and there’s always something new to consider. The one thing every edtech startup can guarantee: schools have no money.

Bureaucracy within the school systems rivals only the bureaucracy found in Washington, DC. That makes 1776, located in the heart of the capital, the perfect place to incubate. The folks in and around the campus know about bureaucracy, and they specialize in startups that may have institutional difficulties: energy, healthcare, government, and education.

This isn’t Pearson’s first dip in the startup pool, though. They’ve already partnered with 1776 to identify good candidates for their own accelerator, Pearson Catalyst. With their experience in education and 1776’s experience in startups, there’s a good chance we could see some great things happen in edtech.

1776 hosted the National Accelerator Demo Day earlier this month.


Tables Turn As Accelerators Pitch At National Accelerator Demo Day

Accelerator, Global Accelerator Network, 1776, National Accelerator Demo Day

Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776dc chatting with an entrepreneur (photo: NMI 2013)


Last week 16 startup accelerators from across the country took the stage at Washington DC’s 1776 coworking space, incubator and home to the Fort Accelerator.

Ark Challenge (AR), Socratic Labs (NY), BetaSpring (RI), The Idea Village (Louisiana), Village Capital (GA), Points of Light Civic Accelerator (GA), Venture Hive (FL), Capital Factory (TX), Alpha Lab (PA), MassChallenge (MA), VentureSpur (OK), Brandery (OH), New York Digital Health Accelerator (NY), Springboard Entreprises (DC) and TechWildcatters (TX) all got a chance to pitch the ins and outs of their individual programs on stage in front of over 100 other accelerator heads and staff members from across the country.

“Of course it was great being on stage with the other 15 accelerators, but after the pitches we got to mingle and network with even more accelerators and exchange best practices,” Brandery’s GM Mike Bott told us by phone. “There’s such a wide variety of accelerator programs out there today and we got to see a sampling of each one.” The Brandery is often ranked in the top 20 when it comes to accelerators. Their branding-focused program happens in the epicenter of consumer packaged goods and branding.

Jeannette Balleza, the director at Ark Challenge told Nibletz:

JIAC (Jobs and Innovation Accelerator Challenge project) and Global Accelerator Network member, The ARK Challenge would not be in existence without public funding from the Economic Development Administration and Small Business Administration, so it was an honor to pitch to potential funders during the first-ever National Accelerator Demo Day alongside 15 others.


Not only were we able to shake the hands of our SBA partners, but we also connected in person with leadership at programs off the beaten path like the Points of Light Civic Accelerator of Georgia, IdeaVillage of Louisiana and NW Social Venture Fund of Oregon. Leaving the day, it was evident that innovation is geography-agnostic, and accelerator models, by necessity, look quite different from one region to the next, depending on ecosystem maturity. There was much more diversity, a big driver of innovation, than one might encounter at a typical tech conference, which was heartening.


With SBA and GAN at the helm, the tone was very welcoming (facilitator Patrick Riley kicked off the day asking the attendees to give two hugs each). Doug Rand of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy discussed pathways to make immigration more entrepreneur-friendly, shared a visa guide at http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/eir and quotes President Obama on the importance of exercising out voices regarding immigration reform. The SBA held a panel on its “CCCI” programs: Capital access, Contracting, Counseling and Investment/innovation.


While short in length, the event proved to be fertile grounds for showcasing and learning from each program’s differentiators, making direct asks of foundations and public servants in attendance, as well as strengthening relationships offline at D.C.’s beautiful 1776.

Acceleration is a very important tool for startups, especially “everywhere else.” The National Accelerator Demo Day was the first of it’s kind, but there are plans for more events like this in the future. It parallels the kind of collaborative learning and exchange of information events that Startup America (now UpGlobal) puts on with their Regional Champions Summits, where people freely exchange best practices to help build better startups.

Are you part of a startup in an accelerator, tell your story, click here.


1776 Goes Global On Multiple Startup Fronts

1776, Startup News, DC Startups, Donna Harris, Evan Burfield

Donna Harris, co-founder of 1776dc chatting with an entrepreneur (photo: NMI 2013)

1776, the startup, entrepreneurial and tech campus that serves as the epicenter for Washington DC’s tech and startup community, announced new initiatives which take their programming, and core, to a global audience. Founded by two Washington DC entrepreneurs, Donna Harris and Evan Burfield, the co-working, incubator, accelerator, co-working and event space has been packed full with startup activity since they opened. One of 1776’s biggest fans is DC Mayor Vince Gray.\

“We’ve wanted to pursue global initiatives since Day 1,” says Donna Harris, cofounder of 1776. “1776 is a fantastic resource for startups in D.C. It [could also be] a fantastic resource for any startup in the world.”

1776 has announced three main global initiatives; a virtual membership program, similar to the program in DC, and Startup Federation, an initiative that will help other cities, globally, prepare their own 1776 counterparts. The final piece of the global initiatives launched this week is the “Global Challenge Cup”.

The Global Challenge cup is an NCAA final four style tournament. Startups from 16 cities (DC, New York Boston, Chicago, Austin, Denver, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Berlin, Moscow, Capetown, Tel Aviv, Mumbai, Beijing and Sao Paolo. Each city’s startups will compete in one of the following categories; health, education, energy and metropolitan challenges. The finalists from each city and each category will come to Washington DC next May to compete amidst a big week long festival that 1776 is hosting, according to elevationdc.com

The Global Challenge Cup is being backed by $180,000 from The Office of The Deputy Mayor For Planning and Economic Development. Burfield also reported to ElevationDC that they have more strategic partnerships to announce.

The virtual membership program will allow startups located outside Washington DC to have access to the 1776 community. In addition to serving as DC’s tech and startup hub, 1776 can help other startups get access to the Federal Government, the largest “enterprise customer” in the country.

Prior to founding 1776 Burfield was the Washington DC Regional Champion for Startup America and the founder of that region. Harris, was a director with Startup America. They see the virtual membership and federation initiatives as ways to continue sharing and collaborating with similar startup communities across the country and around the world.

You can find out more at 1776dc.com


Source: elevationDC


AngelHack DC Attracts Over 100 Hackers To 1776

AngelHack, DC startups, 1776, Anton Gelman, hackathon

It wasn’t a big weekend in DC Tech this past weekend. Launch and startup parties at DC’s technology hub, 1776, are regular occurrences, as are startup events, designer events, and even hackathons. With the amount of tech and startup activity in DC, they are well on their way to becoming the “Silicon Valley of the East” as DC Mayor Vince Gray said in his remarks Friday.

Hackathons are awesome and are becoming more and more common. They come in any number of sizes and formats; there are informal hackathons called at a moment’s notice, hacking for a specific project, social hacking, and building companies. Two of the biggest hackathon formats for building companies are Startup Weekend and AngelHack.

Both events are ongoing and have meetups at multiple locations throughout the world. Startup Weekend’s happen every weekend and in multiple cities per week. AngelHack happens twice yearly and multiple cities compete over one weekend. Hackers, developers, designers and coders are encouraged to come on day 1 and pitch their project idea. Hackers in the crowd will vote on the best projects and build them out over the remaining hours in the weekend (24). From there judges select one winning team that they  will send to the AngelHack “finals” in Silicon Valley with over $100,000 in cash and prizes on the line.



The Washington DC AngelHack is chaired by DC startup mega enthusiast Anton Gelman, CEO and cofounder of Cont3nt. Gelman is no stranger to hackathons and pitch contests. He won the New York Angel Hack last year.

“Over the summer, I happened to be in New York and decided to check out AngelHack New York. Crazy enough, I won! They sent us to San Francisco in the following month to compete with other winners from other countries. It was probably one of the coolest events I’ve been to, and then I thought, this was such an amazing experience in New York, why can’t we have one in D.C.? So I arranged a few meetings, made a few phone calls, and was able to convince them to host an event here in D.C” Gelman told Nibletz last year before the first AngelHack competition in DC.

This year, AngelHack DC attracted over 100 hackers to 1776 dc, the epicenter of technology startups. They pitched a wide range of ideas from big data to health tech, to social entrepreneurship, and even Kickstarter tracking. Check out some of the Saturday morning pitches in the short video below.


Mobile Polling Done Right, Check out 1776DC startup YoPine here.


Mobile Polling Done Right, Check Out 1776 DC Startup YoPine [interview]

YoPine,DC Startup,1776,TechCrunch DisruptWhen our good friend Donna Harris left Startup America earlier this year we were really excited about what her and Washington DC Startup America Champion Evan Burfield were going to build. Now 1776 is a reality and the nation’s capital, and the nation for that matter are talking about  it.

Back in March we brought you an interview with “Her Story” our first 1776 interview.

For those not in the know 1776 is Washington DC’s new startup and entrepreneurial epicenter. Think event space, co-working space, and incubator. 1776 is the heart of DC startups, in fact DC Mayor Vince Gray sported a 1776 T-Shirt while perusing SXSWi.

While 1776 is on this leg of the sneaker strapped startup road trip we were ecstatic to meet quite a few DC entrepreneurs who roam the halls of DC’s new startup space. Our good friend Brian Park with Startup Grind DC, was volunteering at Disrupt. He holds the Startup Grind DC events at 1776.

We also met Kevin Ostrowski and Gary Mendel, who’s startup YoPine is a resident at 1776.  Kevin is still based in New York but Gary works out of 1776 which is where YoPine is officially headquartered.

YoPine is the first (of many) mobile apps that do polling correctly.

How does it work?

Say you want to find the best place to watch the Washington Redskins play on any given Sunday. Typically if you sent out a group text you would get 100-300 messages back with most people taking 3 or 4 texts just to answer the question. Then you would have to circle back with all of those texts and keeping that organized can be a complete mess.

With YoPine you simply ask your contacts through the YoPine app. If your contacts have YoPine they will answer via app and if they don’t they can answer via text message and mobile website.

You set up the question, input some possible answers, select the contacts you want to poll and hit send. Voila, you’ll get the results you’re looking for quickly. You can then send the results back out to everyone that participated.

YoPine’s UI and functionality are much better than any of the “hot or not” clones we’ve seen to date. There is huge potential in the platform. We’re sure there’s a reason that a social polling platform is headquartered in the political capital of the world (wink,wink). Check out our interview with Kevin from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 below. You can find out more at YoPine.com

So yeah we’ve got A TON of startup stories from TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013.


DC Startup Her Corner, Our First Interview With A 1776 Startup

Her Corner,DC startup,1776,startup interviewAs most of you know we are big supporters and partners with Startup America. That’s why when Startup America Managing Director Donna Harris and Startup DC Director Evan Burfield launched 1776dc, a new incubator and accelerator in our nation’s capital, we were very excited.

We’re going to be making a trip to DC to cover 1776 more in-depth. In the meantime we got a chance to interview Frederique Camapagne Irwin, founder of DC startup Her Corner.

Her Corner is a resource for women entrepreneurs who are committed to growth in their companies. We build forum networks (or circles) of women business owners, in a hyper-local (neighborhood based) and face-to-face setting, so that women can come together to collaborate and work on building their businesses. We are a membership-based organization with requirements to join and monthly dues. We are currently DC / VA / MD based with plans to expand outside the DC region in 2013.” Irwin told nibletz.com in an interview.

Check out the rest of the interview below:

In layman’s terms, how does it work? (In other words how would you explain it to your grandmother)

If a woman business owner is at least 1 year into her business, building her own brand (sorry, no stell and dot resellers, or realtors with larger brands,) and fully committed to growth (doing this full time and not also working elsewhere,) we encourage her to apply for a seat in a group near where she lives.

Each neighborhood group meets over dinner, in member’s homes, with a professional facilitator to discuss business growth topics, remain accountable to one another and to help each other with business opportunities or challenges. Outside the group meeting, members receive an accountability partner with whom to work with on a regular basis, as well as an invitation every other month to attend a speaker series where they can meet and network with the other members of Her Corner across the region. We also have a private social network that was built specifically for Her Corner where members and build a profile, include an “offer” to other Her Corner members, see what events other members are attending, and they can also join sub-groups (e.g. women in manufacturing, women looking to raise capital, etc.)

Overall, we create the community and the resources around women to help them grow their business.

Who are the founders and what are their backgrounds?

Our founder is Frederique Irwin, a former management consultant and serial entrepreneur. Frederique Irwin has more than 17 years of management consulting and entrepreneurial experience. She has served as strategic advisor to CEOs of global companies focused on strategic planning, and growth management. Frederique has also built several companies, including an international import company that is still running and several service-related companies. Today she applies her entrepreneurial experience, management consulting background and business operations expertise with a strong network of personal connections to help business owners achieve the next stage of business growth through the in-person business groups offered via Her Corner.

We also have three (3) DC-Area facilitators, women who are also running their own business, but who work for Her Corner to run and facilitate groups. Each facilitator comes from a business background, either an MBA or a strategy or business operations background. They must also be strong personal facilitators and natural connectors. All Her Corner facilitators start as members first.

What’s the startup scene/culture like where you’re based?

Intense. Very long hours, so much to do, a crazy amount of opportunity to pursue; but the most rewarding experience and most fun I have ever had. [Even my kids know and support how much I love Her Corner, and they’ve said that they hope my new baby will be a girl so that she can get involved in Her Corner too! J]

How did you come up with the idea for HerCorner?

I built Her Corner for myself. A few years ago I was building my 3rd business and while I was very involved in local area networking and in some lead-share groups, I was also looking for something where I could meet more women “like me” who understood that women build businesses for different reasons than men do, and that we build them differently too. I wanted to find something near where I lived, at hours that fit my busy life and family, in a more feminine setting – and I wanted to build real relationships. I realized that women naturally will help one another, and that there’s nothing more irritating to us than someone handing us a “deal sheet” to track what we’ve done for others – because we’re going to do it anyway! I ran my own personal Her Corner group, as well as 4 other neighborhoods, for about 2 years before I decided there might be a market for this on a much larger scale.

Why now?

It’s a perfect time for a woman-only business owner network like Her Corner: we’re seeing a rise in women-owned businesses (7.8M in 2007 vs. 8.3M in 2012), interest in starting a business is coming even earlier for women (a recent Sage study showed half of all women 18-24 want to start their own businesses,) the access to capital is beginning to thaw (there are more services to teach women how to go after capital, as well as more women-led funds like Women’s Venture Capital Fund and Illuminate Ventures.) And finally, women are more educated than ever before; they’re looking to share that education and experience with one another to help one another accelerate growth.

Why 1776?

Lots of reasons, really! The energy and exposure to other entrepreneurs is one of the most valuable things a business owner can expose him or herself to. The ideas around the office, the access to speakers, visitors and even potential investors is unique and difficult to find all under one roof. The founders of 1776, Donna Harris and Evan Burfield, are former business owners whom I have known and admired for years – they know what it takes to build a business and they are trying to create that environment for those of us in the development stage today. And finally, as a woman, it is so important to be surrounded by fellow entrepreneurs and colleagues and not to isolate oneself.

What problem does Her Corner solve?

Most women business owners are not fans of networking in the traditional sense; they often feel isolated in their business, and they miss the collaboration and team environments of previous companies. They are very smart and motivated but sometimes they get “stuck” trying to move through a decision, opportunity, or change, and they want to talk though some of the decision points they are facing. Given how busy women are, they don’t have a high tolerance for the posturing and potential bologna that you sometimes find in other peer-group forum settings.

Her Corner creates a positive environment where we encourage our members to think bigger, to collaborate to accelerate the possibilities, and to look at networking differently – rather than coming to a large event and handing out business cards, we ask you to start with your small group and start by asking, “tell me about yourself and how can I help you.” We have created an environment that is intrinsically feminine – we meet in one another’s homes, over dinner, and we build relationships first. This unique approach is driving business referrals, business leads, new business development, and new business partnerships in ways we had never imagined.

What is your competition?

There are lots of competitive networking events available to business owners (for example Chamber of Commerce events,) and also lots of forum-like groups for business owners (for example Vistage or EO.) But we have yet to find a network that is exclusively for women business owners (vs. all women in business,) and a forum-like group that is for women only and run by actual business owners with MBAs and strategy background (vs. information marketers, for example.) We don’t compete with the education seminars or the consultants; we only compete for women’s time and commitments to other groups.

And what’s your secret sauce?

We’re members too! Everything we do in Her Corner was built first for us and every decision we make is based on whether this is something that we would have wanted or needed for our own business. We’re not trying to build something new and hoping that it works, we’re building what we know works and packaging it the way women would want it – the way we would want it!

What are some milestones you’ve achieved?

Since we launched Her Corner, we had to prove that members would be willing to pay for the service, that we could teach others to facilitate and run groups beyond the founder’s ability to run them herself, and that we could recruit, launch, and run groups in neighborhoods that were outside the founder’s personal network.

We launched in August 2012, and within the first 6 months we have interviewed and accepted 125 new paying members (expected to hit 250 by August), hired 3 (soon to be 4) new facilitators to run new groups, we now have 13 groups running across the DC area (planning for 20 by August) and we’ve expanded into areas like Leesburg, VA (and soon Baltimore, MD) where the founder does not have a personal network.

We have also secured sponsorships with organizations like AU’s Kogod School of Business, local area businesses like Xenith Bank, Urban Igloo, Glen’s Garden Market, and La Ferme restaurant.

What’s your next milestone?

Critical for us in 2013 / 2014 will be our ability to implement Her Corner in new cities and to prove the model outside the DC area. This will allow us to build a more robust growth plan with hard numbers and real time frames that will allow us to talk to potential investors about our growth plans.

Who are some of your mentors and business role models?

My mentors are some of the men I worked with in management consulting, the men who taught me how to build, run and optimize a business – but who also taught me leadership skills and the importance of family and values. I also have mentors around me who are women who have built and sold companies before me and who are in my close circle of friends, keeping an eye on what I am building to help me avoid land mines. And my business role models today – Marissa Meyer and Sheryl Sandburg – two women who encourage other women to push forward and not be defined by our personal lives.

What’s next for Her Corner?

These days we’re launching new groups every month, while also filling the few open spots in existing groups. To a certain extent, I’d like to stabilize our growth in the DC area, get my founding members more involved in the improvement and representation of Her Corner, hire a few strategic position, and begin to focus my attention on the development and implementation of Her Corner in new cities.

Where can people find out more:

Online people can find us at: www.hercorner.orgOn Twitter, we’re at @hercorner  And on Facebookwe recently launched a new page (our presence has been private so far and for members only)

Get tickets to everywhereelse.co 2014 at 2013 prices now, here!

Startup America’s Donna Harris & Startup DC’s Evan Burfield Launching 1776 DC

1776, Donna Harris, Startup America, Startup DC, Accelerator

Startup America’s Donna Harris interviews Steve Case (photo: Nibletz Media)

On the heel’s of the Startup America Partnership’s second anniversary a new initiative, incubator and accelerator are launching just steps from the White House. It was on the White House lawn on January 31, 2010 when Startup America was officially launched.

The new epicenter for entrepreneurship in Washington DC will be called 1776 and is being spearheaded by Startup America’s Managing Director, Donna Harris, and Evan Burfield, Chair of Startup DC. These two have worked hand in hand, over the past two years nurturing the Startup America Partnership an organization that supports startup communities nationwide. Harris will transition away from her role at Startup America over the next month.

“1776 is a fantastic example of the entire community rallying around a very bold idea that taps the unique assets of the community rather than replicating what others have done,” said Scott Case CEO of the Startup America Partnership. “I couldn’t be more thrilled that Donna, who was the architect and leader of our National Regions Initiative, and Evan will now focus their expertise on making this bold vision a reality in DC.”

“Washington is one of the most powerful cities on earth, and it has the potential to become an incredible nerve center for startups seeking to tackle big national challenges like education and healthcare,” said Donna Harris. “1776 will be a single rallying point to tie startups into the region’s significant wealth, expertise, and extraordinary advocacy community, and will create a global brand for what makes the DC community unique.”

Harris oversaw the creation of Startup America “regions” across the country. Over the course of the past year Startup America began looking to empower the regions, and their regional champions so that the organization itself could take a backseat while startup communities across the country blossomed.

1776 will provide co-working space, curriculum to help build entrepreneurs and startups, and an accelerator program. The also plan to continue a trend currently in place at Startup America where people and trends that are reinventing America share the spotlight.

“Our goal is to build an explosive entrepreneurial economy based on the assets unique to Washington, DC,” said Evan Burfield, co-founder of 1776. “1776 will have a number of strategies to help the hottest startups in the world — the ones with the bold ideas for tackling the big problems — to navigate regulatory minefields, develop scalable business models, and drive revenue.”

1776 will hold an open house and press conference on February 6th at their campus, 1133 15th Street NW, 12th Floor. DC Mayor Vincent Gray, Startup America CEO Scott Case and other notable national figures from the entrepreneur community will help kick off the new initiative.

For more information sign up for 1776’s email list here http://1776dc.com/

Scott Case and several other’s from Startup America and it’s regional partnerships will be on hand at the biggest startup conference in the U.S. everywhereelse.co The Startup Conference, limited number of tickets still available.